The FIDO2 security key from Yubikey enabling passwordless experience, now available with AzureAD Hybrid joined devices

In the last week there have been many announcements from Microsoft at the annual Ignite conference covering: the release date for the new Microsoft Edge; changes to combined SCCM and Intune under the Microsoft Endpoint Manager brand amongst other SCCM and Intune capability announcements; new Microsoft solution to automate Knowledge Management; new passwordless capabilities for AzureAD Hybrid joined devices; and, a review of the Surface Pro 7.

The new Microsoft Edge coming in January

Microsoft has announced the final Beta version of the new Microsoft Edge which is based on the open-source Chromium browser developed by Google. General Availability is expected on January 15th 2020. The new Edge includes an Internet Explorer mode to allow content to render using IE11.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager to encompass SCCM and Intune

Microsoft has announced the Microsoft Endpoint Manager brand to cover Configuration Manager (SCCM), Intune and Desktop Analytics. The announcement is accompanied by a blog post explaining Microsoft’s vision on modern management principles and the strategy for SCCM and Intune.

Project Cortex; automation of knowledge management

A really interesting announcement about Project Cortex, the first new service in Microsoft 365 since Microsoft Teams. Project Cortex is an automated knowledge management service that uses data from across Microsoft 365 workloads to create “Topic Cards”. The Topic cards present a summary of information including documents, videos and people related to that topic and can be enhanced with human curation. The idea is to “connect people to information and information to people”. The service is enhanced by the release of Search connectors that can then ingest content from sources outside of Microsoft 365 including File Shares, ServiceNow, MediaWiki and others.

Local cache solution for Microsoft store content

There is some solution updates for serving content from the cloud such as Microsoft Store apps using local cache solutions. This fills a gap for SCCM customers who need local Distribution Points but have content that is not served via SCCM. The latest solution is called Microsoft Content Cache and is the new name for Delivery Optimization In-Network Cache (DOINC).

Intune capability to manage UEFI hardware settings

Intune can now manage UEFI hardware settings for Surface device via Intune and Autopilot using something called “Device Firmware Configuration Interface” or DFCI. DFCI is in public preview, requires Windows 10 1809 or later, and is available to OEMs to leverage.

Passwordless experience with security keys expanded to Azure AD hybrid joined devices

Microsoft is expanding the use of FIDO2 security keys to Azure Active Directory hybrid joined devices. Previously using these security keys was available on cloud only (Azure AD joined) devices only. FIDO2 security keys provide both security advantages along with a passwordless experience for users.

OneNote 2016 gets a new lease on life

Microsoft is extending support, and restarting development, for OneNote 2016 to align with Office 2019 (development of OneNote 2016 had previously been announced as stopping in favour of OneNote app for Windows 10). In addition, OneNote 2016 will be included with downloads for Office desktops apps from Office 365 from March 2020. OneNote app for Windows 10 is not on feature parity with OneNote 2016 so this may be behind the decision.

Surface Pro 7 review

A straightforward review on Microsoft Surface Pro 7.